Vacations are SO fun and vacationing to Disney World is extra fun and magical, but it can be very expensive. I am constantly asked “How can we save money while at Disney?” I’ve heard many people say that if you go to Disney expect to spend tons of money, but you can definitely give yourself a budget and stick to it! I’ve put together a list of tips and ways to save money while vacationing to Disney World that are sure to help you have a regret free trip!
- Plan to visit during OFF SEASON. Disney goes through seasons when crowds are at peak capacity, and during those times you will always end up paying more fore your rooms as well as tickets. You can save literally hundreds or even thousands of dollars by visiting during off season. (JUST SAY NO TO CHRISTMAS WEEK!)
- Say NO to Park Hoppers. If your schedule will allow, ditch the park hoppers (allow you to visit more than one park a day) and get regular base tickets (allows you to visit one park per day). You will save lots of cash by choosing the base option and you will still be able to see the parks of your choosing.
- Get a Disney Credit Card. I am not one for getting credit cards, ( I can hear Dave Ramsey in my head telling me how awful they are) but this is an exception that I am willing to make, because it actually SAVES you money! When you open a Disney Credit Card and make a $500 purchase on it in the first month (YOUR VACATION takes care of the $500) then you get a $200 credit! That is INSTANT savings!!! Plus you get lots of perks in the park for being a Disney card holder, plus cash back on all purchases. Click HERE to apply for your Disney Visa today!
- USE GIFT CARDS. Did you know you can use gift cards to pay for your Disney vacation as well as your purchases on Disney property? One trick for buying gift cards is purchasing a club stores like Sam’s club or Costco where they are sold in bulk. When you purchase from there you can get 2-4% off of the purchase price! Every little bit helps. That could be up to $120 off of a $3000 vacation!
- Say YES to FREE DINING! There is nothing better than FREE and Disney! One of the biggest expenses while on any vacation is FOOD! During different times of the year Disney has been known to offer FREE DINING to guest who book ROOM and TICKET packages. this can save you THOUSANDS of dollars in the long run. So make sure you and your travel professional are on the lookout for this promotion!
- Ditch the SODAS. A regular size fountain drink at Disney is $3.29. That can get pricey for the average family of 4. That is $13.16 every time your family stops for a drink. Instead of stopping for a soda, stop for a FREE ice water. Ice water can be received anywhere that serves fountain drinks for FREE with or without purchase of anything.
- Say NO to combo meals. Typically, the menu price listed at a Disney Quick-Service restaurants are “combo” prices, including french fries or some other side. Each side costs around $1.50 to $2.50, which is included in the combo price on the menu, but deducted from the price you pay if you order the entree only (entree only price is normally and conveniently left off of the menu). Many guests don’t even know that they have the option of ordering without french fries, chips, or fruit, and end up buying something they don’t need or even want, simply because the way the menus are presented. DON’T ORDER WHAT YOU DON’T WANT.
- Order kids meals. If you plan to eat at the park restaurants and you want to stretch your dollar, order off of the kids menu at the counter service locations. There is plenty of food, and it is less expensive than the adult offerings. By doing this you can save $3-$7 per meal.
- Plan ahead for souvenirs. If you plan ahead for Souvenirs you are sure to save money and cut down on impulse buys. I always encourage giving yourself a budget and sticking to it. I also suggest shopping off property for souvenirs. The Orlando/ Kissimmee area is LOADED with stores and outlets that have bargain prices on souvenirs. To get a more in-depth idea on how to cut down on the wants and souvenir costs at Disney be sure to read THIS article.
10. Use Complimentary Resort Transportation. One thing I love to do while at Disney is stay immersed in all things Disney ( I call it my Disney Bubble), and that means not leaving Disney property. A great thing that Disney offers that saves you time and money in the long run is complimentary Resort Transportation. Their transportation services will take you anywhere on property via bus, boat, or monorail. Your budget wont have to worry about gas or parking fees and you won’t have to worry with directions, it’s truly a win-win!
11. Use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. There are many incredible reasons why using a vacation planner is great, but my favorite reason, is they always have their clients best interest and bottom dollar in mind. A good travel agent will monitor promotions and prices and alert you when deals come your way and adjust your reservation to reflect the promotions. The great thing about an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner is there services are 100% FREE to you. If someone ever tries to charge you to plan your Disney vacation, move on to the next Travel agent! For help planning your next Disney Vacation Click HERE!
There are lots of ways to save money and keep your bottom dollar in line! Disney does not have to break the bank and the average family CAN go and have a great time! Happy savings and happy travels!